Cell Therapy Catapult to work with Athersys on projects to advance European development of MultiStem® therapy

The Cell Therapy Catapult, which is focused on the development of the UK cell therapy industry to increase the nation’s health and wealth, is pleased to announce that it is working with Athersys, Inc (Nasdaq:ATHX) on multiple projects to progress the development of Athersys’ MultiStem® cell therapy product in Europe. Among the projects, Cell Therapy Catapult will undertake a European market access assessment for the MultiStem product which considers factors such as data requirements for evidence-based decision making, payers’ value perceptions and pricing benchmarks.

The Cell Therapy Catapult, which was established by the UK Government in 2012, is a centre of excellence for the translation of cell therapies into commercially viable propositions. With £70m of funding over five years, it has almost 100 staff with expertise across clinical development, regulatory affairs, manufacturing scale-up, supply chain and business issues such as reimbursement and market access.

Athersys’ proprietary MultiStem cell therapy is an ‘off the shelf’ stem cell product in development for the treatment of multiple distinct diseases and conditions in the cardiovascular, neurological, inflammatory and immune disease areas. The product, which consists of multipotent adult progenitor cells obtained from healthy, consenting donors, is produced from human stem cells obtained from adult bone marrow or other tissue sources. Unlike traditional bone marrow transplants, the resulting product may be manufactured on a large scale, ensuring product consistency, and exhibits a ‘drug -like’ profile. Currently, MultiStem is the subject of five clinical programmes, and is also being assessed in preclinical studies in a range of indications.

Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult, said, ‘Understanding market dynamics and reimbursement issues is a crucial part of the development of cell therapies such as MultiStem. We are pleased to be using our expertise in this analysis for Athersys, and look forward to helping other UK and international cell therapy organisations move their products towards the market.’

‘We are happy to be working with the Cell Therapy Catapult, which is widely recognised as a leading European centre for the development of cell therapies, on this and other important projects’, commented Gil Van Bokkelen, Chairman and CEO of Athersys. ‘The market access assessment will provide information that is important to our further development of MultiStem in Europe and beyond.’